I’d held it together under the cover of darkness, but caught in the lights in the lobby, lost in the shuffle of handshakes and laughter and blazers and cocktail dresses, I had no choice but to hide, almost literally, tucking myself behind the steps, under a vibrant green EXIT sign, clutching a bottle of beer... Continue Reading →

Me vs. Everything – Random Chapter

It’s funny what miles of push mowing will do to your thoughts. Where I'm the star of my daydreams, ripping off my warm-ups, running layup drills, a sea of Woodberry maroon and silver in the stands as I crack the starting lineup, maybe getting all-conference a few years down the road. I'm the talk of... Continue Reading →


They were dancing when the winds picked up, carrying ash and char from the hills. The gusts sifted through their hair, fluttered their shirts, and knocked them back with a howl before chasing them into the house. They collapsed onto the sagging kitchen floor in a whirl of laughter. They caught their breaths as the... Continue Reading →

It’s A Wonderful Life…

“There are two kinds of people in this world,” Kurt slurred, pausing to take another artless swig. “Those who like Wonderful Christmastime, and those who would rather gargle Pop Rocks with Drano.” “Liquid Drano? Or Max Gel,” I said, trying to throw my friend off his game. But hammered as he was, Kurt was right.... Continue Reading →

Any Friday Night – 1987

I read the question again. “Who married Charles Lindbergh?” Melissa, my always cranky sister, grabbed a handful of popcorn and shrugged. “Who cares?” My stepmother took a breath. A small sip of wine. I sat at the table, staring at the orange squares on the board—the sports squares—hoping for something I was capable of answering.... Continue Reading →

Long Ride Home

Just as soon as we got to Nannie’s I rushed into the kitchen and slung open the fridge. There I found a fresh pitcher of her sweet, cheek-sucking Kool-Aid. Nannie used enough sugar to prop a door open, at least a finger or two resting on the bottom, and so I grabbed the pitcher, the... Continue Reading →

Borrowed Time

Alecia gripped my arm, just above the elbow, nails digging. I thought she was going to rip through my shirt. “Mom, Dad. This is Justin.” “Hi Justin.” Her father bolted across the room with a board meeting smile. “I’ve heard a lot about you.” Luckily, I'd been prepped for his vice-grip handshake. I braced myself,... Continue Reading →

The New Guy

I was scarfing down whoppers when death came. Not the burgers--yeck, the candy, wolfing them down, crunching on the chocolate milk balls so that I didn't hear his dainty little knocks. But then the bell rang. I sat up straight, cocked my head like a retriever. No matter much bad news I receive, and I... Continue Reading →

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